As you saw in the GoogleMaps satellite pic of our place when we first moved in, in September 2011, the backyard was little more than open lawn.
That soon changed :)
A few months later, I ordered a pallet of ‘seconds’ bricks direct from Austral and we started digging out and laying the foundations for the vegie beds:
The two other beds in the background indicated approximately how the design would be – I’d lain it out for a time so that we could make sure that it suited how we wanted it, before making the design ‘set in concrete’ .
With my in-laws’ help (HUGE THANK YOU to you both! Could not have done this without your expertise!), the gap between Christmas and New Year’s saw the first vegie bed finished, the foundations lain for the second bed and the foundations cut out and levelled for the third and fourth beds:
Then the second vegie bed was up, and the foundations for the fourth lain:
January saw the fourth vegie bed done:
Then the third bed, to line up with the second and fourth:
With the capping done, it was time to accumulate ‘lasagne’ materials – sugarcane mulch and lucerne bales:
Bed one done:
The layers of the ‘lasagne’ were: wet newspaper, mushroom compost, horse manure, dolomite (water), straw, lucerne, blood & bone (water). That made it level with the top of the walls so that when it settled a bit, I could top them off with more mushroom compost and compost salvaged from the heap at our old place.
Then beds two and three were done:
Then finally bed four:
A few weeks later, the layers had settled and were decomposing nicely:
(you can just make out that the same white fungus that’s on the bales, is also at work in the beds)
So it was time to top them with more mushroom compost and compost:
And start planting out! Corn, zucchinis and pumpkins in bed one:
Tomatoes in bed two (with wires strung between star-pickets), and beans in bed three (with bamboo tee-pees):
Then bed five got underway:
That first year, most crops were a success and we even had enough tomatoes to freeze for later in the year.
Ever since, however, they’ve struggled, and I’ve struggled to get the soil to hold water and nutrients. It has only just started to come good again last season (Winter 2015). Fingers crossed that upward trend continues.